Blogging is something that can be done for both professional and personal reasons. There are some commonalities between these two versions of the same action, and many differences. Here’s a quick overview of the basic rules for each type of blogging. By reviewing them, you’ll probably see very quickly both the similarities and the differences.
As with most forms of writing – both professional and personal, the age-old rule of “know your audience” (or know your readers) applies to writing both corporate and personal blogs.
And one more note before we post some of the main rules of blogging – make sure what you mean to write is a blog and not a website. There are two major differences between a blog and a website. The first is the content, the second is posting frequency. If you want static content – that’s a website, not a blog. If you plan to focus on facts rather than the story behind them, that’s not a blog either.
Everyone know what a website is. But do you know what a blog is, and, perhaps more importantly, what a blog is not. The short version is that the website hosts corporate offerings, knowledge, marketing positioning and branding. While a corporate blog tells the inside story behind these things: what motivated the company to pursue development of this technology (e.g. a personal story of an experience that motivated the founder); success stories (e.g. users that have benefited, lives that have been saved, etc.).
A personal website might contain elements similar to a person’s resume, their life story. The blog would give the reasons why they made the choices they did and the current status as it evolves.
Professional Blogging Rules
- Don’t make it personal, unless YOU are the brand. Justin Beiber’s blog will be about HIM, your corporate blog won’t be about you. Avoid using the word “I” and even “we” where possible.
- Offer the inside story, the information behind what is known.
- Don’t only write about your company, your offerings – write about more universal (but related) topics. What is of interest to people in your industry?
- Be subtle – if you believe your solution offers the best options and features, show it by giving examples, rather than stating “we are the best.” Let your reader come to that conclusion.
- Post on a regular basis.
- Consider getting others in your company to write as well.
- Look for blogs with related topics and offer to guest blog.
- Seek industry leaders to guest blog.
- Don’t be conventional – work hard to make your corporate blog a place where thought leadership is evident.
- Make sure you have an adequate blend of corporate news and accomplishments mixed with industry-relevant posts that will draw your readers to come back often. For example, if your company is in cyber-security, most of your posts should be related to cyber-security advances, technologies, key issues, etc. and not press-release type posts about your product, your people, your company.
- Build a community of readers who come back often.
- Respond to comments.
- The tone of a blog is very different than that of a website. Keep this in mind for all posts – informal, informative, interesting.
Personal Blogging Rules
- Find your unique niche, your natural alliances. If you want to right yet another food blog, few people will be interested. Blend your chosen topic with something that will appeal to many.
- Post on a regular basis.
- Promote your blog in groups with a similar interest.
- Promote your blog on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- If your blog includes pictures and videos – look to promote it on social media tools such as Pinterest, Instagram etc. – with links back to the blog.
- Focus your blog so that your audience knows what to expect. Your blog can be a blend of personal and political, for example, but you shouldn’t then suddenly start posting another angle without a good reason.
There’s a lot more we could write, but for an intro to blogging, this should suffice. Stay tuned for more…and if you’re interested in studying blogging, consider our Blogging 101 course. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org for details (available both in our Training Center and online).